Banquet Frozen Dinners Court The Old-Fogey Demographic

mealoffortuneFor most consumer items, you want to attract customers who are as young as possible in order to win their brand loyalty for life. In the frozen dinner business, that’s become a problem, because people under age 40 or so simply aren’t interested in frozen meals, no matter how fresh and healthy the packages proclaim them to be.

ConAgra, for one, is solving this problem for now by marketing their Healthy Choice and Banquet meal brands to older Americans. Specifically, they’re targeting the audience of the game show “Wheel of Fortune,” which skews heavily toward people who are your parents’ age.

Sure, seniors are old, but they aren’t dead, and many of them aren’t keen on cooking a full meal for only one or two people. That makes older Americans a perfect target market for frozen dinners, and that’s ConAgra’s strategy. Convincing the kale-munching millennial masses that frozen dinners are a valid food choice can come later.

The promotion is for their bargain-priced Banquet brand, which consists of classic American dishes that appeal to older diners. For the promotion, called Meal of Fortune, codes will come in Banquet frozen dinners. During the broadcast of “Wheel of Fortune,” the show will draw random codes to win fabulous cash and prizes without even spinning a wheel.

More people cooking meals at home, while it might warm the hearts of personal finance bloggers and lead to healthier eating, is bad for the frozen food industry as a whole: they just haven’t captured the attention and freezers of Americans between 20 and 40 yet.

How Do You Sell Frozen Meals to Older Folks? Spin the Wheel… [Wall Street Journal]

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  1. Liberal says:

    I cook for one. so i never cook…hardly. the frozen meal sounds appealing as long as its a healthy meal and that is hard to find. not impossible. an example is costco has a frozen precooked angus burger pre-made, heat and eat and its yummy. so there is some market. old people gotta eat too.

  2. webalias says:

    Of all the brands of packaged frozen foods, Banquet is the absolute worst. Back when I was eating more of that stuff, my grocery store would rotate among weekly sales on Stouffers, Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Smart Ones and Banquet. The other brands were at least tolerable; Banquet’s entrees looked and tasted disgusting. The last time I bought one, I took one bite, then marched it over to my garbage and dumped it. There’s a reason they are sometimes down near a buck a piece.